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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle by Marie Harbon Guest blog and GIveaway



Tips For Writers

A story follows what a character wants, what she’ll do to get it, and what costs she’ll have to pay on the way. The journey of your character is paramount, as your readers will track what she learns, the decisions she makes, and how her life changes as a result. This is the essence of myth – which is a journey leading to oneself. Myth relates to all stories, not just fantasy. You can use a physical journey as the basis for this, even if it’s only from one side of a city to another. A good example of a journey is in ‘Stand By Me’, when four boys walk on an adventure to see a dead body. Along the way, they discover a lot about themselves.

Flow is one of the most important elements of a good story. Ensure ease of reading for your audience, so that they’re not jarred by complex language or names that are difficult to pronounce. They’ll just substitute gibberish instead, and the human eye singles out difficult words. While you believe you’re being clever, most likely, your readers will find it a turn off.

Another key element is pace. A slow plod will cause the reader’s interest to decline, although it allows for greater detail. A hectic pace will take the reader on an adrenaline saturated rollercoaster ride, although it will exclude detail. This pace is perfect for suspense, whereas a slower pace is more appropriate for literary fiction, as it allows character development and analysis. Most genres strike a balance between the two.

My third key element is emotion. This is what really drives your story, not your flawless prose or your technical genius. Readers must feel what is happening to your characters, be joyful in their successes and tearful in their heartache.  They must travel the journey by your character’s side, and care what happens to them. Make your reader feel excitement, tears, triumph, disgust, annoyance, and laughter.

Some authors give strict technical advice about the use of adverbs, semi-colons and prologues, to name a few. Excellent flow, pace, and emotion trumps technical factors, because readers don’t pick up a book to check out how many adverbs an author used. They read to be transported to another world. Perfect technicalities cannot mask a lame and pointless story. Many of Amazon’s best sellers are not works of technical genius: they merely take the fantasies of readers, translate them into words using the authors’ hearts and souls, and sell them back to the world.

What are the ingredients of a good story? Make a wish list of everything you’d like to see in a book or film, what interests you passionately, what entertains you, and the themes that capture your imagination.  Choose some key elements that naturally intersect, and build your vision from there.

Don’t neglect the depth of your story world. It’s not necessary to describe everything down to the trees and the soil, but you should seek to capture an evocative snapshot of your world. Sometimes a bold metaphor can perform this job more effectively than a whole paragraph of description.

Play around with ‘what if’ scenarios. If it can happen, then let it.

When developing your lead character, remember, he/she must drive the action.  This character doesn’t have to be instantly likeable or perfect. Sometimes, the most fascinating characters are those who are challenging, complex, and make mistakes, just like us.

Don’t develop one character and neglect the dimensionality of your supporting cast. Where relevant to the story, allow them to express themselves, without sidetracking. See all your characters together as part of an interconnected web, who interact, and affect each other’s emotions and decisions.




Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle 
Marie Harbon
Genre: Science Fiction, Science Fiction Adventure
Release date: December 2012

'The Truth Will Set You Free'

In the second instalment of the Seven Point Eight series, the legacy of the OOBE project weighs heavily on the conscience of Dr Paul Eldridge. Tahra Mamoun needs to muster all her courage and venture back into the alternate dimensions of reality. Through a series of challenging, surreal and frightening experiences, she comes to comprehend the destructive power she can yield and must face her own demons in the process.

Paul continues his quest to understand the ancient knowledge of the cosmos, while dark forces seek to hijack his research to further a secret agenda. With their lives in jeopardy, Paul and Tahra confront their enemies against an international backdrop featuring the pyramids of Giza and the peaks of Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Sam and Ava endeavour to uncover their past, even though it may irrevocably change their lives.

In a tale of courage and tragedy, love and betrayal, their lives are interwoven around the demons of one man, Max Richardson, who'll stop at nothing to achieve his objectives.

Written in the style of a TV series, Seven Point Eight draws together quantum physics, psychic powers, alternate dimensions, time travel, past lives, ancient wisdom and conspiracy in a soap opera for the soul.

Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle
Excerpt 5


Currently, I stood at ground level, with most of the activity going on well above me. Remembering what the machine elf had shown me, I wondered if I could indeed exert more power in this world, abuse the laws of physics or manipulate the extra-dimensional beings that existed here. Only one way to find out.

Let’s put this to the test.

I focused on one of the higher walkways and imagined a huge surge of power coursing through my veins. Instead of allowing my consciousness to draw to a point in the distance like I’d done before, this time I propelled my energy body upwards, feeling like some superhero from a comic. The thrill was immense, like a euphoric rush from a drug but more vivid; not just simply a shift of consciousness but as if my actual body leapt a hundred feet into the air at once.

The buildings rushed past me, their otherworldly steel glinting in the cool glow of the triple suns. I now stood on one of the highest points of the city, surveying the whole of it like an eagle. The interconnectedness of the city and engineering spectacle itself took my extra-dimensional breath away. Despite the urban nature of the panorama, it remained as beautiful as any natural landscape. At this height, the peace and serenity invited me to remain here. The world was at my feet. The novelty and enormity of this sensation overtook me so much, that I focused my energy body onto the next skyscraper and within a moment, I felt myself leaping there, in complete defiance of gravity. Such was the freedom of pure consciousness.

I wonder if anyone can see me.

Dropping to the level of the walkways, I stood on one, trams whizzing past, creating a draught as they passed. People were locked into their own thought processes as before, as if they were unaware of each other. Their somewhat translucent skin barely disguised their internal organs, and their blood which looked like watery milk. Each still had that faint neon outline, as if someone had drawn around them with a luminous pen. The clips on their temples blinked rapidly, the only real sign of sentiency, yet not one of them made any eye contact with another.

They can’t see me.

Unless they choose not to see me.

No one’s told me to get out yet.

That means I can move freely and no one will care.

Let’s put my newfound powers to the test.

The normal laws of physics didn’t seem to have any hold in the domain of consciousness, or when operating in other dimensions. Knowing this, I looked over at a particularly imposing skyscraper and decided to test this theory. Immediately, I ran along the walkway and jumped up, my feet landing on the side of the building, my body parallel with the ground. 

What an odd and exhilarating experience!

I’m not going to fall off. 

Confident of my ability to abuse gravity, I starting running, straight up the side of the building, faster and faster over the steel-like surface and the toughened windows until I reached the top. Here, you don’t even get out of breath. Within moments, I stood on the roof of the building, feeling like a God. 

In the other dimensions, I am a God.

Ecstatic, I leapt from building to building, watching the busy city beneath me as I somersaulted, twisted and jumped from roof to roof. Once I’d reached the top, I sprinted back down the other side, laughing at the idea of my own personal playground. Running down the sides of the buildings, I sensed the smoothness of the steel-like substance under my extra-dimensional feet and once I reached the walkways, I launched myself to the top once more, crouching to rest, surveying my domain. 

Not content with jumps and vertical running, I sprinted underneath the walkways, upside down as if gravity couldn’t even begin to protest. I even landed on the top of a tram and rode it, standing firm and unmoved as it sped along, under the bridges formed by other walkways. I flinched as the steel-like walkways passed right through my energy body, like flour filtering through a sieve, but I quickly discovered that I was left unscathed.

What can this world do to me now?

But then something jolted me from my fairground ride.

“You don’t belong here.”
About the Author: 

Marie Harbon has worked in both the retail and fitness industry. She has a degree in sport and fitness, and taught group exercise for several years, delivering aerobics and Pilates. For two years, she delivered BTEC sport courses and has also instructed dance and sport with children.

Marie is a member of Nottingham Writers Studio, Her future plans include not only completing the 'Seven Point Eight' series, but involve writing YA, children's and adult books, short stories, novellas and scripts.

Aside from writing, Marie is a self-confessed fabric geek and purveyor of beautiful, often ostentatious bags, bustiers and clothing. She lives in the town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, which is in England.

Website:  http://www.marieharbon.com 



Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle
Epic Winter Giveaway

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Would courage, resilience and love be enough to bring together two soul mates?

How much would you sacrifice to save the one who owns your heart?



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Paradox Series: A story within a story — a world within a world.

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You can bet your soul on it!


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1 comment:

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